Saturday, September 12, 2015


Sing The Old Song

Bollywood’s nepotism dictates that every star kid who is halfway good looking (the rest can be ‘fixed’) be given a bash a stardom. The grooming probably means some instant acting lessons and much more time spent in the gym and tattoo parlour to get a designer body. That done, the star offspring can be unleashed on to the public, already hit on the head with the high-powered publicity.  (It doesn’t seem to matter that this kind of training and styling means that they end up looking just like everybody else.)

Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty have that little extra push because the industry’s current godfather or ‘Bhai’ Salman Khan has co-produced Hero (with Subhash Ghai, maker of the original Ding dong, O baby sing a song romantic adventure) and has been personally promoting the new fledglings more than their own parents possibly could.

 But even Bhai could not think up a fresh, contemporary love story for the two star kids – and did a rewind to come up with Hero—dated and corny—perhaps because it gave a chance for the male lead to be macho--though Jackie Shroff never needed to take his shirt off, he wore a bandana and played the flute;  Sooraj Pancholi does headstands on nails and dances in a disco. It also helped the leading lady to be clueless and helpless, though, in this age, no girl should be so dumb!  Meenakshi Seshadri could dance and use her eyes effectively, Athiya Shetty can barely speak her lines properly--  the concentration was obviously on her styling, not her acting.

Anyway, the story is the the same, villain Pasha’s (Aditya Pancholi)  henchman Sooraj pretends to be a cop and kidnaps the IG’s (Tigmanshu Dhulia) daughter Radha.  The episode’s a picnic for her, since she does not guess that she has been abducted, and the two complicate Pasha’s plot by falling in love.

The original wasn’t such a classic either, but Ghai managed some of his own flourishes like picking tuneful songs and picturising them with panache.  Nikhil Advani brings nothing of his own to the table. This Hero could have been directed by a bot.  And if it works, it will be because today’s audiences are also mainly bots.


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